Disasters & Accidents

8 dead as SUV driver plows into crowd outside Texas migrant shelter

Miami, US, May 8 (EFE).- The death toll has risen to eight in a tragic incident, where an SUV driver recklessly plowed into a crowd outside a migrant shelter in the border town of Brownsville, Texas, the authorities said on Monday.

The victims were predominantly Venezuelan immigrants who had gathered on Sunday, waiting for a bus in front of the Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center for the homeless in Brownsville.

The facility has been serving as a shelter for numerous migrants passing through the area.

Officer Martin Sandoval of the Brownsville Police confirmed the latest fatality, as one of the injured individuals succumbed to their injuries at a hospital.

At the scene, seven Venezuelan immigrants were found dead, while ten others were transported to hospitals with multiple injuries, Sandoval said.

The authorities have not determined whether the collision was intentional, and the driver, identified only as a Hispanic man from Brownsville, was apprehended by witnesses at the scene.

The driver’s name and nationality have not been immediately disclosed.

Officer Sandoval stated that the individual was uncooperative with investigators, making it challenging to ascertain whether the car crash was an accident or a deliberate act.

A blood sample was obtained from the driver, and a toxicology test has been ordered to determine if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The police have neither ruled anything in nor ruled anything out at this point, and they are exploring the possibility that the crash was intentional.

Victor Maldonado, in charge of the Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center, confirmed the victims were mostly Venezuelan.

Approximately 20 to 25 migrants from Venezuela were waiting for a bus on the sidewalk when the crash occurred.

Maldonado said the migrants from Venezuela had arrived at the shelter two or three days ago.

He reviewed surveillance footage from the shelter, which showed a Range Rover running a traffic light about a hundred feet away and plowing through the people waiting at the bus stop.

“This SUV, a Range Rover, just ran the light…and just went through the people who were sitting there in the bus stop,” said Maldonado.

The incident comes just days before the May 11 expiration of Title 42, an immigration measure implemented by former President Donald Trump and continued by incumbent Joe Biden to expedite the expulsion of migrants, citing COVID-19 concerns.

In anticipation of potential issues arising from the end of Title 42 and a potential increase in illegal border crossings, the Biden administration has deployed 1,500 US troops to the border to support and provide backup to the Border Patrol.

The White House has clarified that the soldiers will not engage in law enforcement activities but will serve in an administrative capacity. EFE

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